A Tale Of Two Registrars And 75,000 Screwed Customers

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What happens when you do business with a seemingly professional domain registration company and then they blip off the Internet and you lose control of your domain? Well, you might be dealing with the New Jersey-based domain company called "RegisterFly" - whose management team tried to oust each other, which resulted in their customers getting shafted and not having access to their domains. The CEO of the company is accused of mishandling funds. The web site has been up and down, and now there are actually two separate versions of the same web site online at .net and .com that look to be run by different groups.

What does ICANN, the authority that's supposed to regulate this industry have to say? Apparently not much other than, "Hey, don't do that!"

The web site for troubled domain registrar RegisterFly went offline early Tuesday. The downtime follows weeks of problems with the registerfly.com site, with domain name owners saying they have been unable to manage or transfer their domains. Amid growing concern about the status of domains at RegisterFly, ICANN has asked a California court to force RegisterFly to turn over its database of domain data and compel an emergency audit of its books and records.

ICANN has also reached out to central domain registries to protect domain owners. "Last Friday, ICANN convened a telephone conference among those needed to implement a plan that will help cease unintended deletions," ICANN said on its blog. "This will prevent names from being deleted from the registry and becoming available for re-registration by others."

ICANN is continuing to press RegisterFly to repair its management systems so domain owners can manage their names, but is now dealing directly with company founder Kevin Medina, who has been awarded control of RegisterFly by a New Jersey court. ICANN met Saturday with Medina to demand immediate action on RegisterFly's failure to provide adequate WHOIS information and make critical transfer codes (known as auth-info codes) available to customers.

ICANN's task would appear to be complicated by the fact that there are currently two RegisterFly web sites running on different infrastructures - RegisterFly.com at The Planet, and Registerfly.net at Sago Networks.

The dueling web sites are the result of a nasty split between Medina and business partner John Naruzewicz, who claimed that he owned 50 percent of RegisterFly and said the company's board had fired Medina. At the direction of "new CEO" Naruzewicz, the company filed a lawsuit accusing Medina of mismanagement and misuse of company funds. Medina denied all charges, saying he remained the sole owner of RegisterFly. Last Thursday a Newark, N.J. court agreed, awarding sole control of the company to Medina. Naruzewicz indicated that he would not appeal. "We lost and it's all over," Naruzewicz told Business Week.


Posted by Clarke Dummit on 2007-04-17 20:50:30
Please visit our web site if you have been injured by RegisterFly www.registerfly-lawsuit.com


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